How many Test Strips do you use in 1 month? Just Curious.

I seem to be a compulsive "tester".....I was just wondering if I am "out there" on how many Test Strips I use. I will say about 400-500 a month!!!! I get 300 a month covered on my insurance.

Additional Resources added by the TuDiabetes Administration
http://www.tudiabetes.org/forum/topics/less-expensive-test-strips-t...
http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/blogs/medicare-coverage-for-test...
http://www.tudiabetes.org/notes/Diabetes_Patient_Assistance_Resources

Tags: assistance, glucometer, strips, test, testing

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I test anywhere from 12-14 times per day. I am not using a CGM at the moment; when I did use a CGM, I tested less, but my control seemed to be worse due to inaccuracies with the CGM (and I'll admit that I would get lazy and just bolus based on the CGM, which I know you're not supposed to do, but....). Anyway, there are some days I test less and some days I test more. Obviously, if I'm having lots of lows or highs, I will test more. There are days where I'm sure I've burned through 18+ test strips dealing with stubborn lows. Like everything else with D, there is just so much variability....
I've got a Dexcom, so I'm down to about 90 tests per month, most days just two. I used to test 8-9 times a day on average, say 300 per month. Would you insurance cover a CGM for you, it might be easier overall.
5 strips a day is all I need and my A1C's are 6-6.2 which is ideal for a type 1. I know when I am going low and always carry OJ with me....I know how much to drink to bring me back to normal without overdoing it.
I can explain why I will never go with a CGM in this statement............I would be looking at it continuously and have to start taking xanax by the handful. Average blood sugar levels over a few months or so is way more important to me than what it is from hour to hour IMO. Plus having a CGM or pump hooked to me continuously would just be more of a PITA than it's worth. Lantus, Novolog and 4-5 injections a day are perfect for me.
I am in charge of my diabetes and it is NOT in charge of me.
If you actually used a CGM for a few days, you would see just how much your bg fluctuates in between those 4 or 5 tests you do per day. A lot of people on boards like this strive for tight control and can maintain A1c's in the 5's by testing more, and/or using a CGM. My daughter has not seen an A1c of 6 for many years now and her doctors are very happy with that. Everyone has to do what they feel is right for them and their lifestyle.
I have been a type 1 for 32 years and I know how much BG spikes if I eat certain foods or snacks. A CGM is definately not for everyone and people in the mechanical and trades occupations would probably continuously break them or get infections. I don't use one and my doctor told me that type 1s with A1cs lower than 6.0 is real risky. The ADA says that 7.0 or less is acceptable and 6.5 or less is excellent and I am happy with my control. If I stay on my diet and eat at specific times, I can't remember the last time I was sick and had to test more often.
Different strokes for different folks. My dog is diabetic and the last visit to the vet her A1c was 6.9 and that is using lantus only.
I have to disagree w/ the doc here. When my A1C drifted higher, my BG was flying all over the place. A CGM isn't bulletproof but I think that it opens things up in terms of activities, food and getting things to run more smoothly. I find my doses of both basal and bolus drift every few months, maybe recently because of the seasons but a 10% adjustment got me back to running flat all the time. There's times where the CGM telemetry gets out of whack, but when it's on, it would be extremely useful to someone in a mechanical occupation as they could check their BG by looking at their pump, at least w/ the MiniMed system, where you only have one gizmo. If you use enough of the right kind of tape (FlexFix Opsite tape...) they are stuck down pretty well too. I did ok when my pump blew up, going back to NPH for 3 days, but I wasn't as confident in my readings. Admittedly, it was the 4th of July and I didn't let a pesky pump malfunction get in the way of some whoopin' and hollerin'...heh heh heh...
I agree with AR. Although I agree with you that a CGMS is not for everyone - some people get too obsessed with the data. I disagree about the infections. There are a lot of people that wear their Dex sensors for 3 weeks and never have problems. Dex only recommends 7 days but most people do longer. I often hear about people having infections at pump sites but rarely hear about them with a Dexcom site.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists actually recommends an A1c of less than 6.5. They state on their website that the closer one can get to normal, the less chances of complications. If you have followed any of the Joslin medalist studies, you would see that a lot of it has more to do with your genes than your A1c. I know a bunch of people that ended up with complications after having A1cs in the 6s.

Most people that opt for tight control pretty much dismiss anything recommended by the ADA. Their programs really do nothing to help diabetics and do more harm than good. Dr. Bernstein is a diabetic himself and he thinks an A1c of 6.0 is too high. Being someone with complications, I wish I had heard of Dr. Bernstein 28 years ago.
Hmmm, I'm not sure I look at what the ADA says however I think that they do ok being a public voice and funnel into which donations can be channeled, funds raised, etc. The whole guidelines issue is hamstrung by the AMA not taking a more agressive stance and overall fear of hypos that keeps people from pushing the envelope. I don't think that the ADA can "trump" doctors' advice on those sort of issues?
But the AACE is made up of doctors and they think an A1c should be below 6.5 - that is a lot better than the ADA's 7.0. I don't think they are getting in trouble with doctors when doctors recommend lower than what they do. They do seem to raise money but I can't really say they put that money to good use.
I wasn't saying that a CGM is right for everyone. What I was saying is that unless you test 50 or more times a day you really have no idea of what your blood sugars are doing. 4 or 5 tests a day for a type 1 is very old school, although it may be perfect for you. Once you put a CGM on, it is like having your eyes opened up for the first time and REALLY knowing what is going on between those tests. You can go to bed with one number and wake up almost the same number, but could have many highs and lows during that time which will still give you a decent A1c.
Plus I have seen a lot of people that thought certain foods did not spike them and once they put a CGMS on and saw those arrows going straight up, they realized what those supposedly good foods did to them.
I guess if type 1s test between 10-18 times a day then there should be no need for an A1c test.
4-5 tests a day for type 1 diabetics is old school, that has me scratching my head. My best friend is a type 1 (5 years) and he works for the Polk County sheriff's office....he has United Healthcare insurance and they sure don't allow 10+ test strips a day. He has excellent insurance and he gets 200 strips per month and his A1cs run 6.5.....the most UHC will allow per month is 300 and that is for intitially getting the newly diagnosed patient under control, after that 200 per month. Government jobs offer the best health insurance.
I just find it nuts to test more than 6 times a day inless the person is ill or newly diagnosed.....that's just letting diabetes take over your life.
Being a type 1 for over 30 years does qualify me as someone who knows what they are doing. I was a diabetic LONG before portable BG meters were invented.
I would love to know what insurance companies allow 10-18 strips per day, that is a boat load and at $60-$75 per box of fifty. let's take the type 1s who claim to test 12 times per day.....that's over $6000 a year just on strips.
If testing 4-5 times daily makes me old school in this crazy world, it works for me.

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